North Carolina is home to more than 800,000 small businesses, employing about 1.6 million people. This represents a significant amount of on-the-job risk of injury or illnesses to workers in the state and the small business owners who employ them. It’s one of the reasons that if you own a small business in North Carolina, you may be required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you don’t have it, you could face penalties and more serious legal issues.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- 5 best workers’ compensation insurance companies in North Carolina
- Workers’ compensation laws in North Carolina
- What does workers’ compensation insurance cover in North Carolina?
- What doesn’t workers’ compensation insurance cover?
- How much does workers’ compensation insurance cost in North Carolina?
- How to find cheap workers’ compensation insurance in North Carolina?
- How is workers’ compensation insurance different than general liability insurance?
5 best workers’ compensation insurance companies in North Carolina
We researched many companies that offer workers’ compensation insurance in North Carolina to come up with our top five for different reasons.
- CoverWallet: Best for businesses looking to quickly compare quotes from many providers
- Pie: Best for getting a fast online quote
- Liberty Mutual: Best for businesses that want to keep workers safe
- Travelers: Best for companies looking for workers’ comp coverage from an industry leader
- Chubb: Best overall worker’s comp insurer in North Carolina.
CoverWallet: Best for businesses looking to quickly compare quotes from many providers
CoverWallet is a cutting-edge and highly-experienced insurance provider. The firm has developed a proprietary, state-of-the-art platform, using its own algorithms, to ensure it is able to connect small businesses with the workers comp coverage they need at the best possible price. The platform makes it fast and easy to get quotes from multiple providers. This makes it possible to get and compare quotes from several highly reputable insurers.
The firm’s experts have used their extensive experience to make certain you only answer the questions you need — and provide the information required — to generate quick and accurate quotes. The entire process should take less than ten minutes from beginning to end.
You can also rest assured knowing that CoverWallet is a part of Aon, a well-known company that provides advice to businesses on things like risk, health, and retirement.
Once you get your quote, it’s easy to purchase a policy online or through an agent. When you get your workers’ comp coverage through CoverWallet, it’s simple to manage your policies online, including doing things like downloading a certificate of insurance, filing a claim, renewing your policy and more.
In addition to all this, you can get other types of business insurance coverage through CoverWallet, making it easy to secure and manage all your small business coverage such as general liability, commercial auto insurance, professional liability insurance, cyber insurance, etc.
Pie: Best for getting a fast online quote
Why does this company call itself Pie? Because they make getting workers comp insurance as easy as pie. They believe shopping for workers’ comp coverage and other business insurance should be as simple and accessible as buying other products and services.
Pie has designed their own online insurance experience from getting a quote to making a claim. The complete quoting process takes as little as three minutes and the buying experience takes just a few minutes more.
Pie provides workers’ comp insurance directly to small businesses and it partners with local, regional and national insurers to also offer coverage from them. Their unique way of doing business, and the machine learning model they use to underwrite workers’ comp policies, makes it possible for small businesses to save up to 30 percent on coverage.
Pie is what is known as an insuretech startup. However, you can rest assured knowing the insurance they offer is underwritten by Sirius Group, which has earned solid industry rankings. The company also has very good customer service ratings and hundreds of positive online reviews.
Liberty Mutual: Best for businesses that want to keep workers safe
In many cases, workers’ comp insurance can seem very much the same from provider to provider.
Liberty Mutual is definitely different.
They understand that employee absences because of work related injuries and illnesses can have a big impact on company finances, productivity, morale, reputation and more.
That’s why the firm uses its more than one hundred years of experience to help businesses improve workplace safety and protect employees. Not only is this the right thing to do, it also helps businesses save on their workers’ comp costs.
Teams from Liberty Mutual work with businesses to:
- Identify work site hazards and risks
- Recommend ways to reduce the risk of accidents and illnesses
- Resolve claims efficiently and fairly
- Support injured workers so they can recover more quickly and get back to work.
Businesses that partner with Liberty Mutual can feel confident knowing they will benefit from working with knowledgeable underwriters and risk control professionals with a broad and deep understanding of the workers’ comp universe and types of claims across industries. They also have dedicated claims specialists who are able to advocate for injured workers, which makes it possible to achieve better outcomes.
In addition to all of this, the firm is known for its high quality research and education materials, which it makes available to clients for free.
All this might seem expensive. The truth is that Liberty Mutual’s focus on reducing risk makes them highly competitive.
Travelers: Best for companies looking for workers’ comp coverage from an industry leader
Travelers is the number one provider of workers’ compensation coverage in the United States.
It’s known for its high level of customer service, flexible solutions, responsive service and cutting-edge innovation. Travelers also uses its extensive experience to help businesses reduce risk, which leads to lower costs. It also provides access to care that can speed the return to work for injured or sick workers.
Travelers is known for its:
- Flexible solutions. It has solutions tailored to different industries that can be customized for individual businesses.
- Responsive and reliable service. An experienced professional is always available to answer your questions or help you with a claim.
- Innovation. Even though Travelers has been around for a long time, it is known as an innovator in the insurance industry.
In the end, Travelers offers quality workers’ compensation protection for businesses in many industries. You owe it to yourself to see if this industry leader could be the right provider for your business.
Chubb: Best overall worker’s comp insurer in North Carolina
Chubb offers workers’ compensation insurance for companies of all sizes, including a solution for small businesses. Workers’ comp coverage can be easily added to the Chubb Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) along with other types of coverage, including umbrella, commercial auto, cybersecurity and more, providing complete protection for businesses.
Some of the features of the Chubb small business workers’ compensation solution include:
- It’s available for businesses with as few as one employee up to those earning $30 million in annual revenue
- It offers versatile insurance options including a waiver of subrogation and a range of employer liability limits
- Occasional international travel insurance with expanded coverage is available through the Chubb foreign package policy
- Medical management support, including nurse case managers, provide medical expertise and advice to the company’s adjusters.
Chubb is known for its top-tier claims service. They make it easy to file a claim, get answers to questions and access forms and other resources online. The firm is also renowned for its technical expertise in claims management, knowing the nuances of North Carolina regulations.
Some other things that make Chubb an attractive workers’ compensation provider include its:
- Preferred provider network that makes it easy to access quality medical care at reasonable rates all over North Carolina
- Return-to-work program that helps speed employee recovery times
- Pharmacy benefit management program focused on patient safety
- A dedicated Special Investigative Unit (SIU) to identify fraud.
- Chubb makes it easy to get a business insurance quote online.
All these features make Chubb our top provider for workers’ compensation coverage in North Carolina.
Workers compensation laws in North Carolina
The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (NCWCA) requires that businesses with three or more employees have workers’ comp insurance. This includes businesses operating as:
- Sole proprietorships
- Limited liability companies (LLCs)
Be aware that the North Carolina Industrial Commission uses different criteria to figure out whether independent contractors are employees. One of the biggest ones is how much control the employer has over what the contractor does.
You could also be liable for employee injuries if you subcontract some or all of your work. This could be the case if a subcontractor doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance. If one of their employees gets hurt or sick on the job, you could be responsible for their medical costs. This could include:
- Unlawfully employed persons
- Temporary employees
- Part-time employees
- Seasonal workers.
There are some exceptions as to who is categorized as an employee in North Carolina. Sole proprietors, LLC members and business partners aren’t considered employees. However, they can choose to be covered if they meet certain requirements.
Some types of employees are also exempt from the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, including:
- “Casual” employees which are ones that do not work regular hours and are able to leave a job without notice
- Domestic household workers
- Agriculture workers at farms with fewer than ten employees
- Employees of the federal government
- Railroad workers
- Corporate officers who choose to be excluded from workers’ comp coverage. Even if they decide to do this, they’re still counted as an employee when determining if a business has three or more workers.
What does workers compensation insurance cover in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, workers’ comp can help cover:
- Accident or injury: Workers’ compensation coverage pays medical costs if an employee gets injured while on the job
- Illness: If a worker is exposed to harmful chemicals or allergens in the workplace that cause an illness, their medical care can be covered by workers’ comp
- Lost wages: A work-related injury or illness often forces employees to miss work. Workers’ comp helps replace the lost wages of injured or sick employees while they’re recovering
- Ongoing care: If a workplace injury or illness requires an employee to get ongoing care, such as physical therapy, workers’ compensation will pay for the treatment
- Funeral costs: If an employee passes away because of a work-related incident, workers’ comp pays funeral costs up to a certain limit
- Repetitive injury. If a worker is injured because of ongoing repetitive job related strain, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, workers’ comp will pay for therapy
- Disability benefits: If an injury is so severe an employee never returns to work, or doesn’t for a long time, workers’ comp will pay medical costs and some lost wages over the long term.
What doesn’t workers compensation insurance cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance won’t cover things like:
- Injuries to independent contractors, clients or customers
- Employees who are intoxicated or high when they’re injured
- Wages for temporary employees while recovering from a work-related injury
- OSHA fines
- Injuries that occur after the employee has left work
- Vandalism or intentional injuries.
How much does workers compensation insurance cost in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, the cost of workers’ comp coverage depends on a number of factors, including your:
- Number of employees and size of payroll
- Industry and type of work
- Workplace risks
- Company claims history
- Business age or years in operation.
There are different rates for each type of employee, which is covered by North Carolina workers’ comp class codes. These are applied on a percentage basis per $100 of payroll. On average, workers compensation insurance costs $0.9 per $100 payroll in North Carolina.
Workers comp insurance cost also varies by providers, so be sure to shop around with a few providers (bibERK, THREE, the Hartford) or a digital broker like Simply Business, CoverWallet, or Commercialinsurance.net to compare several quotes to select the best and cheapest one for your company.
How to find cheap workers compensation insurance in North Carolina
Most businesses in North Carolina are able to choose their own workers’ comp insurance provider. You owe it to yourself to compare coverage and costs from several insurers. They have different ways of calculating premium costs and you will likely find a range of prices. You can select one that offers you the best coverage at the lowest possible cost.
Some insurance companies offer several discount programs for having safety policies and return-to-work policies in place, so make sure you are asking the insurance companies if there are discount programs available to your company. You should also have discount if you choose to bundle several business insurance policies together.
Lastly, the cost of worker compensation insurance depends on the classification codes of your employees. Construction workers have much more expensive workers compensation insurance than clerical workers, so make sure you classify your employees into the correct codes and remember to update the codes when your employees change the nature of their work. That might help reduce the premiums you have to pay for workers comp insurance policy.
Workers compensation insurance vs. general liability insurance: How are they different?
Workers comp only covers people who work for you. If a client, customer or random person is injured at your workplace or job site, general liability insurance will cover it. General liability covers bodily injury and damage caused by you or an employee to someone else’s property.